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he were but twenty-two years old, for the date of his life. This is clear from 2 Kings, viii, 26: otherwise he will be made twenty years older than himself, and two years older than his father!
Psalm ii, 7.
"Thou art my son; this day have I brought thee forth"-not, "have begotten thee."
1. That the Hebrew root commonly signifies to bear, to be born, or to bring forth, we have not only the assurance of Pagnin, who puts parere and parturire as its first and more usual interpretation; and of Mercer, who says, " idem est quod Græcis Tevvav, quod est in lucem edere generaliter;" but we have also infallible examples of the sacred text,-as Gen. iv, 18; xvi, 11; xxix, 34; Deut. xxi, 15; 1 Chron. ii, 46, 48; to which we might add many others.
2. That the Greek word Tɛvvaw (by which the Apostle quotes and translates this place twice; viz. Acts xiii, 33, and Heb. i, 5,) also signifies to bear or bring forth, we have also many examples in the sacred text; as Matt. ii, 4; xix, 12; Luke i, 13, 35, 37; xxiii, 29; John iii, 4, 6; ix, 2, 19, 20, 32, &c. The Septuagint also translate this text with the same word γενναω.
3. The apostle Paul, quoting this place" Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee,"-applies it to the resurrection of Christ, when God brought him forth out of the grave; (Acts xiii, 32, 33.) "We declare unto you (saith Peter) glad tidings; how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us, their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; and that as it is written in the second Psalm-Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
From what I have said, much light comes in on this text, which before has to me been always very dark.
Psalm xii, 5.
Our ordinary translation is; "For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him." The last words are to be rectified thus; "I will set him in salvation (or safety ;) He (meaning God,) will give breathing or respiration to him.” Consult the Hebrew well. The Septuagint, the Syriac, the Ethiopic and Arabic, all refer it to God's kindness to his oppressed people.
Isaiah viii, 22 and ix, 1.
(viii, 22.)" And they shall look un'to the earth; and behold trouble and 'darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness. (ix, 1.) Nevertheless the dim. ness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he light
ly afflicted the land of Zebulun and ⚫ the land of Naphtali, and afterward ' did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations." The first thing here to be done, is to separate from the first verse of chapter ix the following clause"Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation”– and to annex it to the last verse of the preceding chapter. The next thing is rightly to translate the whole, which will then stand thus:
And one shall look unto the earth, and behold trouble and dimness, so that he is obscured with affliction, and driven up and down in darkness; for he is not darkened so as to be shut up with it."
The Chaldee paraphrase, and the
ancient Latin of Jerome, distinguish ed these chapters, as I have done; and I have translated them as you see, with good leave of the Hebrew text. If, on the contrary, they be left to be part and preface to the first verse of chap. ix, they confound the sense thereof; insomuch that they puzzled the Septuagint (though Hebrews,) so that they made their Greek translation pure nonsense. St. Matthew perceiving this, when he quoted verse 1 out of the Septuagint, (see Matt. iv, 16) makes no use of this former clause, but begins with-" The land of Zebulun and Naphtali, &c." As to the meaning, I must leave them to judge that can weigh these things: yet to me it appears, that the Prophet, speaking so much of darkness, might put in "He is not darkened so as to be shut up with it," in order to distinguish it from the darkness in Egypt, which so confined the people that they rose not from their place for three days. (Exodus x, 22.)
The remainder of verse 1 begins a new prophecy thus :
"As in the first time, he made 'vile (or debased) the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, so in the • latter time he shall make them glorious; viz. the way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles." Or it may be read;—" As the first time did make vile the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naph⚫tali, so the latter time shall make them glorious, even the way of the sea beyond Jordan, &c." To justify this; first, it is well known to every Hebraist, that signifies to make vile, or to debase; and that
27 signifies to make glorious. What reason then was there, for our translators to translate the first lightly afflicted,' and the second,
heavily afflicted? For though n
hath the signification of lightness,
it means of light worth. And also hath the signification of weight, yet here (as in Piel oft) it signifies weight of glory.
Secondly, the history informs us (2 Kings xv, 29) that it was the sad lot of Galilee, (or of Zebulun and Naphtali two main parts thereof,) to be the first in that calamity which befel their nation by the Assyrians; on account of which calamity, then newly acted, Isaiah comforts them with this prophecy; viz. that in recompence of that heavy disadvantage above the rest of their brethren, they should have the first and chiefest share of the presence and converse of Christ, the Messiah, when he should come in the flesh. For the second verse continues; "The
people that walked in darkness (viz. in that darkness of affliction, described chap. viii, last verse) have seen a great light; they that 'dwelt in the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and hast increased the joy thereof. [How is this brought to pass ?—It 'follows verse 6] For unto us a 'child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, &c." St. Matthew uses that portion which he quotes directly in this sense, if you take the full context, beginning chap. iv, 12. And that first clause of verse 3, in which I have left out the word not, is equally consonant with the Hebrew, and more so with the sense. The margin indeed gives it to him ;' which would then thus read "Thou hast multiplied the nation and to him increased the joy ;" and if we rather read " to it" (viz. the nation) the sense will be the same.
Matthew xxvii, 9, 10.
Read," Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the
According to the common digest of our Bibles, there are no such words found, but in the Book of Zechariah; (excepting that Jeremiah also bought a field, chap. xxxii ;) whereupon Origen is greatly perplexed. Jerome and Augustine think it a fault of the scribe, and so do Eusebius, Erasmus, and Beza: the last of whom conceives that either the Evangelist cited only" the prophet," (not naming which prophet,) as the ancient Syriac reads it; or else that the Evangelists, or their scribes, anciently writing such well known things as names of prophets by abbreviations, (as for Zaxapie,) some later scribes heedlessly turned into Ie, whereby the following scribes wrote Jeremiah, instead of Zechariah. Others, conceiving it ought to be written Jeremiah, inasmuch as all the Greek copies known to us have it so, do conclude, that either this prophecy was at first delivered by Jeremiah, but preserved till the Apostles' times only by tradition; or that Jeremiah, prophesying this thing, and not laying it up (as the manner was) in the archives of the temple, Zechariah afterwards prophesied the same, and left it in writing among the sacred records; he being a great imitator in language and matter of Jeremiah, as Grotius gives many instances. Or, this quotation might be taken out of both Jeremiah and Zechariah; or, Zechariah might have two names.
To all these, let me add my suggestion. And first, note, that it is confessed of all, that the Jews might
commit some faults in some letters and points, in penning some of the copies of their Hebrew Bibles: as the most ancient Samaritan copy of the Pentateuch, and the Arcanum Punctationis (set forth by Erpenius) do clearly evince. Next, that the inspired Evangelists do correct some of those faults: as in Psalm xxii, 16, where the Hebrew copies read as a lion, and St. John (Rev. i, 7) reads it they pierced; and therefore our translators have boldly, but justly, corrected the Psalm. So again Isa. xxix, 13 is rectified by Matt. xv, 9 ;-Jer. xxxi, 32 by Heb. viii, 9 ;— and Amos ix, 12, by Acts xv, 17. May not therefore our Evangelist Matthew rectify in this quotation the wrong placing it by the Jews in the volume of the prophet Zechariah, when (as he here intimates) it should be placed in the Book of Jeremiah?
Now, whoever attentively weighs it, will at least perceive, that chapters ix, x, xi, commonly accounted part of Zechariah's prophecies, belong to more ancient times than those of Zechariah: namely, to the times before the Jews' captivity in Babylon. For in chap. ix, 1, 2, &c. is pronounced the burden of the Lord on the land of Hadrach and Damascus, and Hamath, and Tyrus, and Zidon, and Askelon and Gaza, and Ashdod, &c. of the Philistines ; the most of which peoples (if any of the names of the places remained) were not extant after that return of Judah from the Babylonish captivity, performed in Zechariah's time. In chapter x. is plainly prophesied the carrying away of Judah into captivity, with a promise of their subsequent return; whereas now, in Zechariah's time, they are already returned. And in chapter xi. is foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, and also the captivity of the
in express grammar requires it to be the first person, if we would be faithful to the text. Secondly, the same reasons are ready to justify my translating “I gave." For (1.) Edwкay, in the first aorist, which the Evangelist here uses, may be as well the first person singular, as the third plural; the at the end being commonly paragogical. (2.) The Hebrew compels us to trans late, and I gave.' Note further the congruity of the sense and context: for Matthew closes both phrases with this, Kada ovvɛraže poi Kvas the Lord appointed me;" but what sense can this be—“ they took, and they gave, as the Lord appointed ME ?" Therefore it must of necessity be as I have translated, I took, &c.
But it may be objected, it is not in the Hebrew of Zechariah (alias Jeremiah,)" as the Lord commanded me:" but, "in the house of the Lord." That is the very question next to be discussed. Surely it appears by the Apostle, that instead of the house of the Lord (now in our ordinary Hebrew copies) it was formerly in the ancient copies as the Lord appointed, or commanded. That signifies a command, and according to command, none will doubt, that is acquainted with the Hebrew: (see Esther i, 8, and oft in that book, and elsewhere.) And that may easily by the pen be changed into any eye is able to see. On the contrary, to read it, I cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord," makes little less than nonsense; and therefore I am bolder to follow St. Matthew's reading, than any Masorites whatsoever : more especially as the Hebrew text begins the verse, so as it appears to require some such ending. For it begins," The Lord said unto me.
people of the land; which is altogether inconsistent with Zechariah's time, in which they are encouraged by him to rebuild the temple. And therefore what can we rationally conclude, but that this quotation by Matthew is out of Jeremiah? For there is no Scripture saith, they are the words of Zechariah; but here is Scripture, (viz. the words of St. Matthew,) to assert that they are the words of Jeremiah. As for their being placed among the prophecies of Zechariah, that no more demonstrates that they are his, than the inserting Agur's Proverbs within the body of Solomon's evinces them to be Solomon's; or that all the Psalms are David's, because joined in one volume. And this misplacing might easily come to pass during and after the captivity; which so totally routed all things, that all the distinct sermons of the prophets, fixed in writing upon some pillar of the temple for a sufficient time of publication to every eye, (as Calvin collects from Hab. ii, 2, in which sense it is also said, 1 Tim. iii, 15, "The Church is the Pillar of Truth,") and afterwards laid up in the archives of the temple, might not be so distinctly kept, and taken out, and set together. Which scruple of misplacing may not be made upon any Scripture, to serve our own views; but only where we have other sacred Scripture (as here we have Matthew) to testify and rectify that misplacing.
The next thing I have to defend is, the proposed alteration of the Translation. First, They took" (as our translators render it) must be, "I took :" for which I briefly give two reasons-(1.) The Greek bears it for sλaßov, being the second aorist, may be as well the first person singular, as the third person plural. (2.) The Hebrew
Mark xi, 13.
Instead of" For the time of figs was not yet," read-" For where he was, was a time of figs."
That the Greek will bear this, note that the body of the words is, 8 γαρ ην καιρος συκων. Now the ancient Greeks did not write the aspirates, accents, &c; and why our later scribes, copying out the Greek Testament, have been so bold as to accent & thus, où, which signifies not; and did not rather write it où, which signifies where; I can see no reason. All reason indeed pleads, that it must be read as above written: for our Saviour had as much reason to curse all the fig-trees in that country, as well as that one, had it not been then a time of figs in that region. But it was a time of figs then and there in general; though this fig-tree, by its backwardness, merited the curse for the time of this miracle was that of the Passover, (our Easter,) when, even in so cold a climate as England, young figs appear; but in the hot country of Judea figs are the forward sign of the spring, as may be seen from Cant. ii, 12, 13.
As for making one verb v to serve to two nouns, it is not worth mention to any scholar.
should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover."
John xviii, 28.
"And they themselves went not into the Judgement Hall, lest they
This needs no alteration: what I would observe is, that the Passover here signifies not the Lamb, eaten on one certain night by all alike; for this Christ had already eaten with his disciples, before he was in hold but it signifies an ox or ram, offered at the same time that the Lamb was, and which might be eaten two days. Unless this be so distinguished, Christ will be condemned of a breach of the law, as if he had not eaten the Passover.
Read the last clause," I live by 'faith on (or concerning) the Son of God." As if the Apostle should say, "I live, spiritually, by what I believe concerning the Son of God;"—or,
by that, my faith, which is founded on the Son of God." This order of words is exactly justified by the Greek; and the change of the word of into on or concerning is constrained by the sense. For we do not live by Christ's personal faith, (as some, who are scholars have erroneously said,) First, because Christ's personal faith, does not advantage us, unless there be in us a faith to receive Christ; as the Scriptures abundantly testify. Secondly the just must live by his faith," that is by his own faith which is in himself." Thirdly the Apostle speaks in the very text, of Christ living in him ;— which is, by faith in the believer : see Ephes. iii, 17. So that this genitive case (" of the Son of God,") is not active, to signify Christ as the